Yeti Cards & Gifts

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Gift Novelty Souvenir Shop Business Plan

Strategy and Implementation Summary

Yeti will leverage their competitive edge to quickly gain market penetration. Yeti has implemented a unique and effective competitive advantage of having a product selection that caters to diverse market segments, and supporting the product selection with excellent customer service, allowing customers from different demographics to feel equally at home at Yeti and to create a memorable shopping experience.

Yeti will rely on two forms of media for their marketing campaign, a strategy to raise awareness of Yeti in the different target markets. The Cleveland Weekly will be used for print advertisements due to its large reach and readership demographics which are aligned with Yeti's customer demographics. Yeti will support their print advertising with a creative, in-house produced series of catchy Flash animated TV commercials. The commercials will be aired on both local and cable TV.

Lastly, Yeti will undertake a sales strategy that focuses on extensive employee training to allow the employees to assist customers with the wide range of products that they sell. Having an extensive training program for employees signals Yeti's intentions of having long-term employees who are like members of the family.

5.1 Competitive Edge

Yeti's competitive edge can be summed up as "Risque, not Raunchy." This indicates their ability to appeal to a younger hipper crowd such as students, as well as an older, more mature crowd typical of Wigman Hospital employees, university faculty members and employees, and surrounding community members. "Risque, not Raunchy" is achieved to a larger degree through an intelligent product selection that is supported by exemplary customer service.

Yeti sells items that appeal to a wide selection of the population. Some items may indeed seem to push the limits of taste, but in general, none of the items sold are offensive or outrageously obscene. A good litmus test for this feeling of risque not raunchy is that any of the customers, regardless of age feel as if they could bring their parents into the store and not feel embarrassed.

Having a wide product selection is not sufficient, in and of itself, to appeal to a wide demographic group of customers. Part of a customer's desire to explore stores such as Yeti is the experience that they have while in the store; how they were treated; the help from employees; the feeling that they were welcome in the store. All of the Yeti employees go through training that reinforces the notion that exemplary customer service must be offered to every customer. The customer must feel like they were treated with respect and that the employee truly wanted to help the customer in any way possible. Having this level of customer service helps support the product selection in appealing to a wide range of customers. Just having the right product selection is not enough, you could have the most desired, coolest stuff, but if the experience is not noteworthy, the customer will not come back.

5.2 Marketing Strategy

Yeti's marketing strategy will be a strategic effort to develop an awareness of Yeti in the community and the wide range of attractive products that they offer. The strategy will use several formats of media:

  • Print advertising: The Cleveland Weekly will be the print medium of choice. Not only is their presence felt throughout the Cleveland metropolitan area (estimated readership is 278,000) but they are the premier alternative media outlet for both Cleveland Heights and University Heights.
  • TV advertising: Television commercials are an expensive yet effective media source for a marketing campaign. Production is often one of the large cost drivers for commercials. As a way of significantly decreasing/eliminating production costs as well as developing a catchy, unique, and memorable commercial piece, Dan Gordon will be leveraging his creative mind and the technical assistance of a few university students to develop Flash-based commercials. These commercials create an edgy, distinct message that will be able to communicate the range of products and distinctiveness that Yeti has to offer. By reducing the production costs to almost zero, other than sweat equity by Dan, Yeti will be able to use TV advertisements which they would otherwise not be able to afford. The marketing plan calls for a 50% split between local (WKYC Channel 9) and cable television. Additionally, Yeti will also be using "book end spots" which are 15 second spots that surround a traditional 30 second spot but at a reduced air time fee.

5.3 Sales Strategy

Yeti's sales strategy is an aggressive training/education regime for all employees. All employees will be trained on the different product categories as well as the specific products within each category. The more information each employee knows and can share with the customer, the increased likelihood a sale will occur. This is especially important since Yeti carries a large product selection and it would be easy for many products to get lost in the mix with no support from the sales associates.

The bottom line is that the more information the employees have regarding the products, how it is used, who the product appeals to, etc., the larger the sales will be with each customer. Additionally, this philosophy of proper training for the employees is aligned with Yeti's perspective that it is far less expensive to train and maintain extraordinary employees and treat them well, than to invest minimally in the employees but have to deal with high turnover.

5.3.1 Sales Forecast

Yeti has adopted a conservative sales forecasts in order to increase the likelihood of reaching the sales goals and decreasing the possibility that the revenue figures will be incorrect. Yeti believes that the forecasts are accurate since they are based on actual, historical numbers.

Sales Forecast
2003 2004 2005
Cards $30,181 $39,887 $42,455
Health & Beauty $26,861 $35,499 $37,785
Novelty $23,541 $31,112 $33,115
Candy & Beverages $25,352 $33,505 $35,662
Japanese $22,334 $29,516 $31,417
Total Sales $128,269 $169,520 $180,434
Direct Cost of Sales 2003 2004 2005
Cards $10,563 $13,960 $14,859
Health & Beauty $9,401 $12,425 $13,225
Novelty $8,239 $10,889 $11,590
Candy & Beverages $8,873 $11,727 $12,482
Japanese $7,817 $10,331 $10,996
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales $44,894 $59,332 $63,152

5.4 Milestones

Yeti has several milestones that will help guide the organization to success. The following table and chart show these milestones.

Milestone Start Date End Date Budget Manager Department
University Hts store opening 1/1/2003 7/4/2003 $0 Dan Marketing
Website launch 5/1/2003 10/1/2003 $0 Dan Department
Open third store 1/1/2006 6/30/2006 $0 Dan Department
Totals $0